Abiann Flawless, a two-year-old bitch known as Jazz, and her owner, Jamie Smith from Lincolnshire, have won the prestigious Kennel Club Cocker Spaniel Championship for 2018.
The competition, sponsored by Eukanuba, was held at Sandringham Estate, Norfolk by gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen, who was a keen spectator. The event saw a total of 40 entries, demonstrating the continuing popularity of the working Cocker Spaniel in competitive gundog sports.
Jamie said: “I finished my second run with a huge smile on my face and my heart still thumping in my chest. From the moment I cast Jazz off, she was hunting in top gear working close to me in a nice tight and wide pattern and sharp on the whistle. I knew I had put her in with a chance of getting an award when she retrieved the runner, but I didn’t quite realise at the time just how well she had gone. I’ll never forget it! She was a pleasure to work throughout the whole trial, but it was hard to get too excited at that stage because I had no idea how the other competitors and their dogs performed.
“The Championship was a fantastic experience for both me and Jazz. The whole event was extremely well organised and it was an absolute pleasure to be part of it. The ground was superb with plenty of game presented to keep all the dogs on their toes. Some people can only dream of working their Cocker on ground like that. For me that dream came true.
“It was an honour for me to have Her Majesty the Queen watch both my runs with Jazz, and receiving my trophy from the Queen is something that I will never forget. Winning the Championship was always a dream of mine – now I can say it is reality. Truly amazing and I’m still on cloud nine.”
Jamie and Jazz found each other by fate, when he was looking for a suitable puppy. Jamie explains: “I rang up and enquired about a black bitch and was told she was the only bitch left, so I didn't get to pick her; fate I guess did! Jazz is a quirky, loyal and sensitive little dog that lives to please me. She was tricky to train and needed cotton gloves and plenty of praise right from the start.’’
The judges at the competition were Jon Bailey, Richard Claydon, Malcolm Taylor and Dai Ormond who selected the following winners:
- 1st – Abiann Flawless, owned and handled by Jamie Smith.
- 2nd – FT Ch Heolybwlch Denman, owned and handled by Gareth Davies.
- 3rd – Spiriteddawn Mystic, owned and handled by Andrew Waterhouse.
- 4th – Windwithe Solitaire Of Strigidae, owned and handled by Samantha Thatcher.
Diplomas of Merit were awarded to:
- FT Ch Ardcaein Fall of Delphaven, owned by Kim Varty and handled by Ian Openshaw.
- FT Ch Croimhor Turn of Poolgreen, owned and handled by William Clulee.
- Episcopi Kiwi, owned and handled by Anita Jones.
- Gatekeeper Bryn of Nederscot, owned and handled by William Clulee.
- Centrewalk Topaz, owned and handled by Richard Preest.
- FT Ch Jackshea Ted of Poolgreen, owned and handled by William Clulee.
- Windwithe Winter Night, owned by Jose Fanjul and handled by Nick Gregory.
- FT Ch Dakotagun Arwin, owned by Jaseon and Claire Atkinson and handled by Jaseon Atkinson.
- FT Ch Bishwell Barcud, owned and handled Stuart Morgan.
- FT Ch Tiptopjack Ajay, owned and handled by Lee Cooper.
The Guns' Choice was Windwithe Solitaire Of Strigidae, owned and handled by Samantha Thatcher.